An entry in a Disney franchise set in a college for all kinds of creatures. Pfft, that will never sell.
Hello, Spongey here.
Well, tomorrow is Halloween. The most wonderful time of the year! That's what the song was about, right?Well, anyway for me it was obvious to figure out what to do for my official Halloween review.
Last year on Halloween itself I did Foodfight .because it happened to be Halloween when I first saw it and wanted to review it. That and it was truly horrifying.
This year, it's an actual Halloween movie. Now, in July I kicked off the Halloweetown series during DCOM month. I started it with the first one then the 2nd one later that month. When I start these October reviews, I knew I would wrap up the series then.
And halfway through the month, I thought it would be fitting to do part 4 as the Halloween review. I almost did PA 4 but I decided to do that one after PE. After all, the Halloweentown films care close to me and there's no better way to cap off Halloween.
Yes, I'm doing two part 4 s in a row. I thought 3 was a good stopping point but at the same time, they had even more creative ideas to explore. They could really show what as world with both humans and monsters would be like, and go into how their new relationship works.
But from the sounds of it, they didn't go into that direction. However, there are other directions too, so this is a case where part 4 isn't a bad idea.
For this one, the director changed again to someone who has done nothing else that is note. But the writers are a different story. They have 3 writers. They got Paul Bernbaum,a major writer for 1 again. He was missing from 2 but came back for 3. He's the only returning writer. The others are Max enscoe and Anne DeYoung.
Max helped write the DCOM sequel Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board. But Anne, my dear readers will know for Girl Vs Monster and 16 wishes.
Okay, this is already gonna be fucking awesome.
Now this one, don't think I saw all of at once until last year, and I was bit busy so I didn't pay full attention. Before that, I had seen bits and pieces like the main premiere, how it starts, and a bit of the climax, but that's it.
So I'm not sure HOW good it is. There is one thing off the bat that turned people off, which I'll get into in a minute. But this could be really good, and serve as a good sequl but not be as great a 1-3, or it could be better than 3 but not as good as 2.
Well, I will say I dislike the title. It's kind of generic and sounds like part 2, not part 4. It should have been Halloweeentown 4: The Zeequel. But the damage is done.
Will this be another spooky fun flick, or further proof part 4 is doomed to fail? Let's find out.
This, is RETURN TO HALLOWEENTOWN
The movie opens with a deep voice reading a prophecy. He says something about how during a Halloween moon, a cromwell will embrace the gift. His floating head pops up and says Marnie is the one they are waiting for.
Then we get our title. Part one had spooky music before the title. 2 had a lazy recap, 3 had spooky music and rushed narration, and this has spooky music, a floating head and a prophecy. Great escalation.
Our story really starts a couple years later as Marnie is now college age. We see her looking at some clothes and deciding what to keep or give away. And here's where I must stop for a rant .but not on what you'd think.
See, in the first three films Marnie was played by Kimberly J Brown. But for this one she was replaced by Sara Paxton. Yes, they replaced the main character. That's never a good sign but hear me out here.
A lot of people are baffled by this and some are flat out .not happy or are dismissive. Why was she replaced? Well, I didn't know and I figured maybe Kimberly had other projects going on and had no time.
But that was not the case. I found a Youtube Q & A video she did and while she herself isn't 100 percent sure, she gives what she knows: Disney had mistakenly assumed she DID have scheduling conflicts, even though she was free to do the shoot and was very willingly to sign on.
KJB says it's complicated but in the end she was replaced even though it should not have been. Now, she says she's cool with it and she's meet the new chick and they are pretty chill. Even she says no hate should be directed at Sarah, as it's not her fault.,
Which leads me to my rant. Naturally, as I said, fans were pissed at this though that has calmed down with what she said above. When an actor is replaced after having been in the role at least twice or more, people will be attached to them. So when they are replaced, people will bitch.
Actors have been replaced before with no one caring too much but this is a case where after 3 movies, we had a new person. This is different then when say, a well known character gets a new actor people don't see fit for the role. Do I even NEED to bring up the obvious recent example?
And my response is .it's no big deal. You can't hate on an actor BECUASE they are replacing the old one. That seems to be the case for many people though. Sometimes I get it when it's being done for bad reasons or the new person is known to be crappy. But in most cases they aren't bad and they ONLY reason people him/her is cuz they are new.
That's the case here. I've heard no other reasons for hating on this movie's Marnie other than she's new. This is even stupider than most cases. While I do think Kimberly was great in the role for all 3 films she's not exactly the most irreplaceable actor/character ever.
For a character like, say Batman , there is a specific personality and style to the character that most actors must stick to. They can do their own interpretation but you can't just do something different. He has a type you must stick to. This is why Bale and Keaton worked while Clooney didn't.
Marnie however, is more less the type of character that is open to wide interpretation and is not sticking to a certain style every single actor must follow. I'm not saying she's dull or could be played by just anyone. But she isn't the kind of character who NEEDS to be played one certain actor to be great. I'd like one actor to stick to the role, but I accept that other people could do it too.
And so, from what I remember, and what I see here, Paxton here does very well too. She has the same energy and stuff we know Marnie for and the writers give her the same personality we are used to. She does what KJB helps imbue that humor and energy that makes her likable. I'm not saying she's BETTER but equal in my mind.
My point? It's terrible to hate on a new actor because they are the old one. I know what's like to have a character you are attached to change actors, but even directing hate at the company is bad. Either find reasons to dislike the actor's actual acting or simply accept that this new person is here.
Also it's a freaking Disney channel movie. That's a case where it REALLY doesn't matter?
So where was I? Oh yeah, Marnie was picking out clothe with magic. After that she heads to the kitchen and bumps into Mom, who is of course talking to Aggie through the soup pot. Perfectly normal.
"You said no magic around Sophie"
DYLAN: And sophie is gone.
'Don't remind me" Traipsing around some other dimension, learning magic and doing spells. She's just too young"
.Okay, this I am a bit miffed at. She didn't do a lot in the first 2 but she had her role and some good moments. But in part 3, she was barly there. I think I saw here in a few bits but hse did nothing for the plot and she may as well not be there.
Now she's simply gone for good. But unlike HH, we have a REASON that kind of makes sense. Sort of. If Aggie could take Sophie off to to do magic at a young age, why didn't Marnie get the same treatment?
Anyway, Mom goes back to her call with Aggie through the soup. She's not in this one as much but I'm okay as she does get involved in the plot, kind of, and given the story, she has a good reason to be in it as much.
Aggie says Sophie's training is going well but they won't talk to Aggie for awhile cuz Sophie is working on time travel stuff. In other words, they needed to writer her out of the plot for a bit. She then fizzles out.
"Soup pot coverage in this area stinks"
After that, Marnie announces that is going to college in Halloweentown. ..Mom is not happy, though maybe Marnie could have run this by her earlier. Mom says she has been saying Marnie is going to community college, then to state.
Marnie doesn't want to just forget her witch stuff and wants college to be different. I think Mom can vouch for me when I say college is much freakier than anything in Halloweentown.
"With all that power comes responsibility, Marnie"
"You stole that form spider man"
At least they lampshade it.
'Not all magic is good. There are some very bad witches in Halloweentown"
Oh my god, THIS again? It was cool in the first movie, and it was turned down a tiny bit for part 2 due to the plot.. Then by 3, she only brings it up once and for the rest, she's ocol with magic. She even flat out asks why she was not okay with it when she uses it for a trival thing./
But for part 4, they hit the reset button. But unlike before it kind of makes sense, as Marnie LIVING in Hallloweentown for awhile is A HUGE deal compared to before. It's the same kind of "Controlling mom" thing but given the situation, it makes a tad more sense than before.
"I'm going to witch U"
"Well, I'm not going to pay for it"
Do they use normal money in Halloweentown, or is there some other currency? This isn't explained in any of the movies. But marnie says she doesn't' have to pay cuz Witch U gave her a free scholarship cuz she's a Cromwell. Kind of biased on their part, but okay.
So yeah, it's a bit bothersome they are going with that controlling Mom thing but she does allow her to go though she clearly doesn't like it. So we cut to later as Dylan and Marnie are about to leave for Halloweentown.
But first Mom gives Marnie a personal witches glass as a parting gift. Then they hug. Awww. At the very least, Mom is kind of accepting the fact that Marnie must go, instead of trying to stop her all together.
So they head off to Halloweentown to hitch a ride to Witch U. That's right, Benny the skeleton cab driver is back! Oh man, I missed him so much. How can you dislike this movie when it brings back the best character?
Benny reveals this year is the Millennium celebration of Hallloweentown, and they are celebrating on Halloween night. So on the drive, Benny makes his usual bad puns. Thankfully ofr them, that ends when they arrive at Witch U.
Here, we get a lot of that Halloweentown creativity with the creatures running around. The tone of this bit fits perfectly with the others, and while 3 was good, it did miss a bit like this.
They the special effect guys show off their LEET SKILLZ by zooming in on a monster dog gargoyle statue (ZUUL MOTHERFUCKER, ZUUL!) and cutting to a dude dressed in black in a room with candles, who is happy that "the cromwell" is here.
His name is is Silla Sinister. Gee, maybe he's the villain!
Back with Marnie, she just marvels at the place in all it's creativity. Dylan acts all snarky, talking about how he perfers his brain to magic when Marnie levitates her luggage. But then some dude hiding behind a book on a bench waves his finger and the luggage stops floating.
Marnie and Dylan bump into our Alpha bitch trio for the evening. Dylan is smitten by the middle one who speaks Latin. Then they reveal there is no magic allowed at the university. Then the bench guy shows up to go further into it.
Magic used for literally any reason, be it luggage holding or attacks will result in hard time.
I love this guy already. I also love the alpha bitches as they are like Sharpay with magic powers and there are three of them.,I also love how Dylan is smitten with them, as it's funny.
'Please tell me you're not crushed on that"
'Into a fine powder"
He's so into them that he decides he will be a student here. Actually, no. He was gonna be here to satart with, as part of Mom's deal. I could bitch but it' an excuse for Dylan to say in the plot.
Marnie goes to her dorm and obviously she is confused why a witch college here would ban magic. Then her ring starts to ring as she has a call from Mom. Hah, the ring is ringing I get it.
Then Aggie pops in. So much for the time travel thing. She even says Sophie is off touring the galaxy or whatever. Lame.
She doesn't do much but she says there are 'secrets" here and things should have told you. Then she goes back from where she came. So that just served to do the "person randomly says something odd before vanishing cuz they said that" clich .
Speaking of cliches, Marnie not pickling up made Mom do the "confiding in random guy about her troubles" clich . The guy is a store clerk. Mom just reveals that she is not happy that her "bird" has "left the nest" so at least she's likable again.
But she forgets her groceries while waking away so she uses magic to bring it to her, which confuses the guy in a quick gag. For someone who is not for magic in this one, she sure loves using it public. Also, there's no one way only ONE guy saw this. His reaction?
"Meltdown on register 3"
Okay, that's hilarious even though Mom making a dude melt down like that makes her kind of careless. So back with Marnie, she gets a message telling her to see her resident adviser at some room.
She goes there but the room seems empty except for a genie bottle which she gets sucked into. Yep, the resident adviser is a genie .played by the so not Azula from the end of The Last airbender.
Marnie gets acquainted, and asks about the alpha bitches. Turns out, they are Sapphire, Scarllet and Sage sinister. The daughters of a very rich and powerful warlock, they rule the school. We even see them walk in slow motion in a cut to the next cut.
Anessa, the genie, heads with Marnie to lunch. We see the Sinister sisters use magic, and Marnie asks why they are allowed to use it. They aren't, and on top of that, their hot Alpha bitch nature makes boys willingly to do some minor rule breaking for them.
Oh, we also bump into Ethan, (again played by Lucas Gabreel) from the 3rd movie. He has a larger role, possibly due to the OTHER movie he was in that same year. But Tv Tropes like to think that was the ONLY reason he has a certain role for this film.
Remember, this was the same year. It's likely this was filmed around the time filming for you know what was done or wrapping up. So it's likely they didn't have time to write the role specifcally for that. Marketing wise, it was highlighted for that reason.
Also, he wasn't exactly in extra in part 3 given how has Dad was the villain and he was hiding some secrets. He even apologizes here. So it makes sense they would pick him to show up again .even if I still miss poor Luke.
They all set down and banter a bit. Ethan reveals the reason for the magic rule. Before, it was witches only and you HAD to use magic. Now they allow all creatures due to most of the witches leaving for the human world thanks to Marnie.
Whoops. Now Marnie has hindered herself by accident. So I like how they tie the college thing into something movie 3 went into. Proper sequel building, I love it. So yeah, the no magic thing was to balance it out so normal creatures wouldn't bitch that they had to do it the old fashioned way.
So it's not just to be evil, but given that creepy dude from a bit ago, there may be evil afoot. EVIIIIIIIIIIIIL!
"Do all the magic you want, just don't get caught"
The mentality for many drug users, really.
Meanwhile, Mom gets a job as a real state agent to distract her from Marnie leaving. She uses her magic to clean a yard for the house she is selling. This scene is short but it was amusing. Let's move on to our first college class.
The teacher says she misplaced some text book, and one of the sinister sisters stealthy magics away Marnie's and gives it to the teacher, and gets extra credit. For giving a teacher something she needed. Shit, if that worked in real life I'd .still fail, actually.
We cut to later as Marnie is not happy about how bitch-y they are. We even see them showing away some dude magic style. It's here where I officially say they are the best part of this movie. They aren't over the top in the way Sharpay was, but they are so .cold, weird, and bitch-y that they are AWESOME.
The boy they pushed around is okay with it, which I find amusing. So at the next class, we see that the weird bench guy is the teacher, and he is Ichabod Grogg. The first name makes me hope the headless horseman will show up in this movie.
He says they need to do some essay right now. Of course one of the sisters uses magic to do it quickly and she is allowed to go after that. Marnie ends up eing the last one to leave.
Except she turns in an empty paper, even though she says she wrote a full page.
"Something appears to be missing. The words perhaps"
This movie now has 2 awesome people. Yay.
'That witch hexed my paper"
Given her inflection I'm sure she mean the other "itch" word. Anyway, the teacher dude uses magics to discover that someone DID use magic on it.
So he's out for the blood or whoever hexed the paper, who we of course know is Scarlett, that sinister sister. A bit later, Marnie is called to the Chancellor's office. So she visits Dr Goodwin who says Marnie is not in trouble.
It's aboutwell just how Marnie is adjusting. Marnie is still disappointed that she won't be doing a lot of magic here, but she is assured that things will go well. Then it's for her next class, which happens to be taught by Goodwin.
And it just hit me that this movie is giving off a huge Harry poitter vibe. Well, that's never a bad thing.
For this class, she takes the kids to the castle dungeon which is normally off limits. They will be unearth treasures from Halloweentown history that happen to be there. Then Mr Grogg pops up to tell them some more.
The College was built on the grounds of old Cromwell castle. Then he just babbles on and his voice magically fades into the background so we can only hear Marnie and one of the sinister sisters here.
In the dungeon is a hole that could have some good old Cromwell antiques, and this chick is itching to see what is down the hole. Then the ground rumbles and a light comes out, that magically gives Marnie an old box.
The box is labeled S Cromwell However, it can't be opened so that plot point will have to wait. We cut to later as Dylan thinks Marne dug up that box by magic. If trhe stuff from the hole could be dug up, like that chick did, why haven't the teachers done so? They seemed shocked at the box showing up, so don't say it's part of the assignment.
The box landed in her hands, so her pals thinks so too .Marnie at least figures SOMETHING is out for her for some reason. So we join Sila as we pretty much take away doubts that he is a villain. We see him with his council of evil robe guys.
This includes Dr Goodwin. They recite the prophecy about a Cromwell embracing a great gift. They of course think Marnie is the one, and that box contains said gift. I love this ivllain. His voice is so damn deep and it's great.
His actor was a brief role as Jeong Jeong on Avatar The Last airbender. Wow, we have someone from the animation and live action versions.
/"We will rule Halloweentown!"
Then his alpha bitch daughters pop up to be hot and AWESOME. As it turns out, they made the hole give Marnie the box. I can't really describe how these chicks act in this scene, but if you watch the movie you'll see how every word they say is just full of awesome from how they say it.
Also, Grogg is part of the evil crew too. Also ,we find out only a Cromwell can use the magic to open the box. But Marnie is like, goody goody and stuff and she will follow the no magic rule.
Well, Sila here has connections so maybe they can get rid of the rule or do some stuff that will make Marnie think it's safe-
or you can tempt Marnie to be bad and break the rules. Yeah, no reason to go with the sensible choice. So now we have our villain plan, so let's get back to Marnie, who gets a call from Mom.
Marnie asks about an ancient and filthy box but before the Disney Censors can catch that line, Mom says bye quickly. The only point for that scene is another "Mom misses marnie" bit and have her reveal that she was calling Marnie through a toilet.
Moving on. Marnie bumps into Ethan who wants to grab a cofee. Oh, and after Marnie says something weird
"I have no idea what you just said, but oyu looked really cute saying it"
The hell? There was no indication of him liking her but suddenly he's the love inetrest. This is where my earlier comment about his role comes in. This is our main couple. Now, where the hell is cody?
I mean, they hinted a ship tease with Luke in 2, then reaplced him with Cody in 3 only to replace him with Ethan here! Ethan being here at all is fine, but it is weird that they hook up. I think maybe Cody's actor had other things to do or something, and instead of recasting the character no one knew by face anyway, they had the male character they had on handy replace him.
Before they can do anything, Marnie Is called to Dr Goodwin's office again. She pulls out the box and suggests they open it with magic. Marnie is about to point the rule she says as Chancellor this can be allowed given the circumstances.,
Hold the phone. If the rules mean jack since this box is very important to them, why was this even an issue? They just needed to ask Marnie to open like they are doing here. There's no battle of ethics going on here. This box is important, so if magic is the only way to open it, it's fine given Marnie's scant knowledge of it.
So in other words, the villains were being idiots and we could have cut the plot points in half. Anyway, Marnie tries to open it but nothing seems to work. I'm sure there's more to it, but ?I don't get why they had her try cuz they MUST have known Marnie didn't know the way to open it cuz they SHOULD know how much magic she truly knows.
So later, Marnie thinks there's a key for it somewhere, but maybe Aggie would know. However, no knows when or where she is so let's move on to the end of the next class. Marnie visits this one teacher who has a TARDIS office.
This teacher didn't sign the 'pledge" so she is using magic in her office willy nilly. Marnie is reminded of Aggie with how she is written, I mean acting. They happen to know each other, which is the writer's way of having us find out about S Cromwell. The S stands for Splendora. This chick also knew Spelndora, and they met in the early days of Hallloweentown. Marnie asks for more info but..
"I've said too much already. I promised to keep Splendora's identity a secret".
I never got this clich . If they bring up knowing they would ask questions, why bring it up? It's just gonna make things worse than if you brought it up right there!
Guess what? She gets curious and heads with Dylan to find out. Keep in mind, that lady said Marnie is "not ready" to know. Again, her not telling Marnie is about to make things much worse.
Anyway, Marnie meets up with Dylan and they head to this library which has plenty of books about the Cromwell family. Also, Dylan reveals he uses magic sometimes.
"Did you just use the M word?"
Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?!
Wait, that's an interesting point. Dylan found out he has magic at the end of the first one, and yet they NEVER bring that up until now. I know he isn't up for doing magic, but you'd think they would ask for some magic help or something.
He swears he uses it to speed read so he uses that to go through these books faster.This makes an awesome effect with the floating books and the words flying out.
Dylan finds out that the box holds a magic gift that no other witch has. 1000 years ago, Spendora locked it in the house and buried it. And that's all he could father from the books, as pages are missing.
Dylan is then distracted a few minutes later outside cuz he gets distracted by the sexy. The Sexy is Scarlett sinister, by the way. Dylan asks her out but she uses her power to be the best thing ever to turn him down.
Dylan seems to be quite into her actually. Hell, when he is insulted by he he says she can talk like that any way she wants. Eh, he's just into dirty talk. I'm cool with that.
Except she has a nameless boyfriend guy. Wah wah.
After that, Mom calls in to see how things are doing. Except she is in the middle of a house deal. She uses magic to turn the house into a 3 bedroom place to help sell the house. I just found that amusing.
Marnie just shuts her off, cuz she doesn't want Mom to know about all the stuff going on .cuz i don't know. The villain council is watching, and thinks Dylan is becoming a problem.
Scarlett pops in (She's really fast. Oh yeah, it's magic.) and figures Marnie would do anything to save him, so they can use him as part of their plan somehow. But enough of that, let's get back to Marnie again.
That night, she hangs out with Ethan. He pulls out a broom so they can go flying off campus, Thus no rule breaking. Wait, are we gonna get another romantic flying scene in this series?
Yes. Yes he we are to a circa 2006 lame pop song. It's short and a minute later they land back on the ground, so go out for ice cream. Thankfully, Dylan and the alpha bitch gang are here to break up the romance.
They all seem to have the hots for him, but of course we see they are using him to do their work. Naturally, Marnie isn't happy to see this and tries to snap Dylan out of it. It doesn't work cuz the hotness/over the top-ness of the girls (also magic) is holding him hostage.
There's really nothing Marnie can do about it, as Scarlett simply steals the scene from Marnie. They walk away and Dylan follows. So now Marnie and Ethan are gonna go follow them on the broom.
But the magic kind of pitters out and they land on the ground. Then the broom turns into a snake. Okay, that was awesome./
"Scarlett set us up. She knew where we'd be. She knew i'd have my broom.."
"You think she's spying on us"?
I'm gonna say it now: The villain's freaking daughter is more awesome than the actual villain.
They shrug this off for now, and we cut to the next day as this one guy talks to everyone about the 1000th anniversary of Hallloweentown coming up.
Ethan and Anessa (Oh yeah, she's in this movie too) are in the crowd talking and Ethan clarifying that the Sinister sisters are amplifying Dylan's own wants to control him. Witches can't fully control someone normally or make them do something they would never do.
Meanwhile, the council of villains have another meeting about Marnie and the gift. Nothing really happens. The villains just tell the sisters to try harder in their plan to get Marnie to assume the gift.Eh, whatever.
So we head back to that Dungeon with the digging class or whatever, as they are again looking at stuff. Grogg says to Goodwin that if Marnie thinks she is doing good, they can make her do anything.
Then class is dismissed. What exactly were they doing before we peeped in? Anyway, Goodwin has Marnie stay to deal with the box. This is after she brings up how the evil sisters use magic, and Goodwin even says they know but they will deal with it later, and the box is their main issue now.
At this point, I would be suspicious that they want the box so badly to the point where it's more important than students breaking rules. But I'm not a supposedly mature witch, so what do I know?
So anyway, it's not the box they are dealing with no. It's a scroll they happen to have that mentions the prophecy but they tell Marnie the Cromwell with the gift will bring peace and stop dark forces. Okay, if their obsession is tied with keeping piece, I'd be on board too. Goddammit, the villains were smart this time.
They say on Halloween night, evil forces will show up to shatter peace or something. Marnie could ask who these forces are or if this is just the "unnecessarily vague prophecy" clichbut okay.
Knowing what she now knows, she heads off. Ethan happened to see this and he asks the Zuul Gargoyle dog in the front who has been paying them to spy on Marnie. Don't ask. Also, Ethan sees this as evil people being suspicious, but Marnie buys it 100 percent. Okay.
I assume he gets his info off screen, cuz we cut to him with Marnie. They head to Dylan's room as Dylan is working hard to please the sisters. Then Mom calls up again but Marnie hides her stuff again. Mom thinks it would be cool to pop in for a visit.
Then we get the "you can't trust me alone" thing and she mentions how Goodwin and Grogg know she's destined for greatness. Mom says she belives in her and Marnie shuts her off.
Okay, I kind of see where this is going. After 4 movies, it is odd to do the "Mom doesn't believe in Marnie" thing NOW, but it I am okay with the villain's stuff tying into it as clichas marnie's dialogue is.
Anyway, Marnie needs another witch to help get Dylan out of his spell, but Ethan says he isn't going to help. Thankfully, he does explain that he knows they are using him cuz they are part of a secret club his dad was in.
I guess he was somehow in it before joining the actual Halloweentown council in the 3rd one. Guess this world doesn't' so background checks.
They plan to use Marnie and her magic to rule Halloweentown and make everyone a slave. Glad we're back to bigger conflict after the small scale of 3. It's not count as big as 2 but it's not too clichand it works.
/'You're wrong. They are the good guys. Unlike you, Ethan"
Seriously?! We're going with that clich ? This mostly trustworthy guy seems to think this, yet she acts like her's a dick after suggesting it once?! God, this movie's dumb moments have been at least fun but this is just .wow. Really, marnie?
So anyway, she meets up that teacher who knew about Splendora. Marnie asks her again and once she hears that Marnie knows more about the prophesy and whatever she is now ready. Really, some knowledge is all it took? They why didn't you just say all this so she could be ready?!
Marnie wants to use time travel to check out Splendora so the teacher chick helps her go into some magic time portal. She's in the early days of Halloweentown, when Benny just had a horse carriage.
She asks about Splendora and he gives her a ride to her place. Also, Benny still makes bad jokes. Some things never change.
She arrives at thec enter of old Halloweentown, and finds people turning a big wheel, and just general bad things. She also meets that teacher chick as a young woman, whose name is Priscilla Periwnkle.
As it turns out, Splendroa is the "future" queen of Halloween town. She also happens to look like Marnie. ,Marne tries to get to her but some hooded guys stop her. Then after she runs off, she gets telported to the dungeon. .
Wah wah. I'll never tire of saying that.
Periwinkle pops in somehow, and tells Marnie that Splendora has locked herself in her room until the coronation. So with the help of Periwnkle, she she teleports up to Splendora's room. Turns out, Splendora's old room is Marnie's current dorm. Interesting
Marnie finds the box here, along with the key. Then we get SLOW MOTION BOX OPENING. Clearly, this is what slow motion was made for.
The box is empty. Then Splendora pops in cuz Marnie didn't hear her come in at first somehow. She guesses that Marnie is a Cromwell and Marnie explains she's from the future.
Being a witch, she's cool with this. Marnie asks about the gift and as it turns out, the "gift" is simply a magic amulet thing. It's been passed from generation to generation and it holds great power.
"Power I would not wish on anyone"
See, with the "Gift" you can do EVERYTHING a witch could not doo, including control people. She doesn't want that cuz she's a good guy and Halloween should be a refuge for monsters, not a place for slaves.
She then mentions the 7 witches who want to use that gift to rule Halloweentown. So where did this thing come from in the first place? Well, it is simply a mcguffin that the villains want, and Splendora tried to hide it.
So I can't nitpick this twist, sorry to say. Anyway, Splendora does not want to be queen.. Huh, a DCOM is using an old Disney clich . Also, Splendora's Dad is Marvin .a cousin to Merlin. Yes, THAT Merlin.
Somehow,. I'm not shocked.
Anyway ,she says she is locking away the terrible power forever. Marnie asks for the "Gift" but Splendora says no. Wait, why does she still want? She knows it's evil and that the villains back in the present want it, so what is the point?!
Then she puts on a freaky voice to yell at Marnie to stop,cuz the power is evil. Like, really evil. It must not be unleashed/ She can't destroy it, as only the power of three can do that.
Then she is called on by some chick, so says her name is Splendora Agatha Cromwell.
"i loathe the Splendora part. When all this is over, I will be plain Aggie Cromwell"
WHAT A TWEEST!
That, I almost say coming, but in the end didn't. Knowing this, Marnie assures Past!Aggie that she will be awesome in the future.
"If you are indeed my granddaughter, my future is bright indeed"
So Past Aggie puts the gift in the box, andgives the key to Aggie, as the only way to keep the key safe, is to hide it in the future. She says she trusts Marnie to keep it away from evil.
* This means the key is in the same realm as the bad guys, and they could easily kill Marnie and take the key. Good job, Aggie.
* So this whole time the key was sent to the future. But that happens cuz of Marnie who was here cuz of the key being missing so .AHHHH TIME TRAEL LOGIC BAAAAAAAAAH!
So Marnie brings up the portal and heads back to the future. So that twist actually worked out decently well, and I only found a couple plot holes. It makes up for some of the weird plot holes before. Good job , writers!
Marnie heads back and.opens the box with the key. Then Goodwyn pops up, happy. She claims it should not be in the wrong hands, and asks for it. Marnie says no .and Goodwyn uses her magic to take it.
Gee, it's like giving it to Marnie was a bad idea!
Marine then runs out and tries to find Dylan. She bumps into Ethan, and she apologies for what she did. Ethan is okay and well that's the end of that so called tension. They find Dylan at the big Halloween celebration thing.
Oh, it's Halloween now. Guess that time travel took her further than I thought.
Of course the sisters still have Dylan on a leash. They are being more delightful than ever. Then they turn Dylan into a dog. Now he really is their bitch.
BA DUM CRASH.
Dog!Dylan runs out and Marnie loses track of him. Beaten down, Marnie calls out for Mom and she pops up. That certainty was convent.
We got a sweet bit as Marnie says she thought she oculd do this alone, and she has messed up big time. But Mom is here now and stuff.
On one hand, it's odd for your moral to be "You can't do shit by yourself" but on the other, the moral is "Teamwork!!!11", or "A family is stronger together than apart". I like how Sara Paxton makes this work, and it's a very heartfelt moment.
So let's move on. Mom gets in more witch-y clothes which is kind of shot. Um .so they head to Marnie's room and Anessa joins them so they can discuss stuff. Marne now knows the score and about how the villains used her.
"I'm such an idiot!""You not an idiot. You are 18"
So they use a spell to find out Dylan's location. Then Marnie is magically taken there by the council of evil. As it turns out, Ethan is there too.
"Ethan found your bother, and we found Ethan"
They want Marnie to join them in exchange for Ethan. As we know, they want he to use the gift to turn evil and let them take over the world. Of course they lie and say they will use their power to bring peace and order and all that jazz.
They say Marnie will start this plan that night by starting a spell to begin their reign. They use the whole "Dylan" is a dog thing as bait to get her to change sides.
'Fine, I'll do it"
Now, I'd bitch but this is CLEARLY the "hero pretends to side with villain to backstab them" clich . But I'll pretend the movie is fooling me. Marnie says she wants time to get ready for her queen-dom so to speak.
She leaves we cut to the big shindig that night. The let Dylan go but of course he's still a dog for awhile longer. The celebration truly begins on a big balcony at the top of the place.
Marnie asks for Dylan to be changed as part of the deal. I hope she doesn't betray you making this a derp moment for you guys in a moment!
Anyway, Marnie is decked out in queen gear, ready to be the "greatest witch' in the world. The whole "villains giving the hero a speech about how they rule even though they are the good guy" thing reminds me of Calling all creeps.
Sadly, this won't end as awesomely.
The ceremony itself is pretty cool loooking, and hell, if you walked in right now, you'd think Marnie WILL turn bad. Why do people bash the new chick again?
She even gets all deep voiced and evil when the power takes over her. But then Anessa the genie uses her power right there to take the amulet
"By the power of 3, I command you todestroy the gift forever"
Anessa throws it up, and Dylan, Marnie and Mom use their combined magic to blow it up. Okay, this is pretty awesome with how they had the family working together, and it's a badass moment.
However, getting rid of the gift was really easy in the long run. They honestly didn't see this outcome coming? This isn't the dumbest thing ever, but I have suggestions for how the villains could have prevented this.
But ah well, the day is saved from evil again. Overall, that was a .okay climax. Not much of one but it was well shot, had good music, and was epic in tone. The best climax since 1, in my opinion.
The bad guys attempt an escape, but are apprehended by none other than Professor Periwinkle who is revealed to be an undercover detective of the Halloweentown Anti-Dominion League.
Nice twist, but these guys were obviously evil by her standards, so why didn't' she throw the book at them year ago?!
She strips them of their power and traps them in a witche's glass. So in the end, these villains weren't exactly the hugest threat in the end. They didn't even fight anyone. Better threats than the one in 3, but not as awesome as Cal or Kallabar.
With the evil gone. Marnie has a mushy moment with Mom.
"This family is so mushy"
A bit later, Marnie asks Anessa to be her actual roomate. But before she can be important in the end, Ethan pops up to congratulate Marnie.
Here's a twist: Ethan gave up his power after his dad's power was taken at the end of the last movie. Yep, he was mortal this whole time. And the creature only college didn't detect this at all?
He apologizes for keeping that secret and he walks away. But then the sinster sister's show up to be dicks to them, but Ethan tells them their powers have been taken away since their Dad was arrested.
Honestly, their resolution was more fun than the real villain's send off. So they storm off, thinking that no magic is bad as being ugly. I do love these ladies.
MOM: It's comforting to know you will have such good friends for the next 4 years.
So Mom knows that Marnie can do good on her own, and she finally lets her baby go. They hug it out and it's sweet.
But wait, we have a romance to wrap up! Marnie goes up to Ethan and pulls out some flowrs. Thankfully, while this happens Dylan talks to mom, and he is shocked Marnie got rid of the "Gift" seeing as it as an ancient heirloom.
It was also evil. Were you not paying attention?
.Oh, she is shown to actually still have it, Mom says she may have given it to someone hse trusts. . Okay, they say the thing itself wasn't evil and whoever she gave it to will make sure it stays out of evil hands. Like how Marnie did so earlier-oh wait.
So she gave it to Ethan, right? Nope, the person she trusts it with is Dylan. Aww, that's nice.
Dylan hides it in a book, and places it on his self. We back up, and his door closes, Ending the movie and the series.
Good ending. Not as rushed as in the others, and they send off everything well. But it's the last movie, and I really wanted a huger moment to make me reflect. However it works, and the door was a nice touch.
DEMON: Oh, now you like doors closing!
After all is said and done, this was a pretty dang good entry in the series. It works well enough a 4th entry, as we still get to see more of the world and finds out more about the characters. The best parts of the movie are were we see the inner workings of this place as well as the plans of the villains.
I like finding out more about early Halloweentown and all that. There are a couple minor plot holes in those bits, but overall it's fine. Most part 4 s fail to do anything new to the story or world and if they do, it sucks. So I'm glad this one did do it well.
But like with 3, I have mixed feelings as a whole. It's very good, but mixed. First, the good things .I think Sara nailed it as Marnie. She showed the character's strengths very well. When she was snarky,she made it funny. She sold every dramatic scene, and she felt liked a more mature manire.
I'd say she's on par with the original but I'll still have major admiration for the the original. The rest of the acting is good, especially with the alpha bitch sister's and the villain. Nothing to add on here.
I liked how they went back to Halloween as opposed to 3, and they got the good ol' charm back full force in a lot of scenes. I also liked that it was a tad more serious which high stakes in the end. It was very well shot, with great music and an overall epic feeling.
It just gave me what I wanted. As for my problems well, they aren't issues on their own so much as issues as a sequel. I'm mixed on Ethan/Marnie as it felt pointless but in the end, they handle it okay and it's not too sappy. I'm shocked it worked in the ending with how it started.
My other issue? Plot holes. This one has even more than 3. Some of them are nitpicks, and others are not. I can forgive them if I watch it normally, but since the others didn't have as many while I reviewed them, it is an issue.
Many points during the 2nd act make me scratch my head. Some bits don't make much sense, as you saw earlier. While they happened, it did grow to be an issue and it held the film back. But after seeing the rest, and looking back I'm okay with it.
They had lots of things in the 3rd act that brought things full circle and made for the plot holes. I still question minor bits but if I turn on my "Good things detector" and not my "Nitpicking asshole" gland, I can sit with all of this.
Also, let's discuss the characters before we wrap this up. Marnie is still good, but she didn't quite grow as much as before. She still faces new issues but I feel they could have done a bit more with her growth. A better written film could have me reflect big time on how she has grown. I still do, but I wanted more.
Don't worry, I still liked her growth even if it wasn't issue. But I do think they could have done the Mom thing tigther, given how little Mom did in the 3rd movie. They wrap it up but maybe some will feel it is rushed.
I like that Dylan did more, and even got to use magic again. I think he has his best decption yet and he even gets a good moment at the end. This, is one of the few elements that works better here than in the others.
Mom is still fine, cuz in the end her minal stuff in the long run works thanks to the end. I'll give it a pass. No Sophie sucks, making it a weak way to end the series. I also wanted more of Present Aggie, given how big of a player she is by theend.
I liked the genie chick, but she did so little that she may as well have been a plot device. Also, did she look OLDER than she did at the end of The Last Airbender, or it just me? Anyway, the Sinister sister's weren't too huge in the end .but I loved how bitch-y they were and they were great villains.
Speaking of, I like the council of villains and their plan, but I feel the head dude should have done more cuz in the end he blends in. I did mock them but I enjoyed them and felt they were more epic than the guy in part 3.
In the end, this movie got better once I finished it, compared to seeing 20 minutes at a time for 4 days. I personally felt enough elements were done well to justify my problems. I think it could have been better but in the end, I'm okay with it being as good as it is.
The story was done well enough, even if I had less issues with the story of 2. As a whole, this was better than 3 in it's best moments, but in it's weakest, it is on par with the weak moments of 1 & 2. It can be seen as the weakest overall, but as a whole .it's on par with 3 and 1 with their best moments.
I can't rank it. They are on par even though I like 2 the most. This franchise is great. It has a creative plot, likable characters, a good mythology, and it gives us a great Halloween mood. I think 2 had the best Halloween mood, as the others after it had Halloween as a plot device.
TLDR: Very good part 4 outside of some issues. Great series as a whole. I will likely watch the first 2 a tad more often then i'll watch the others, but I'll watch any entry any day.
Well ,that ends my Halloweentown reviews and my October reviews. Next time, it's another sequel only this one is .different, and more mad. In a good way.
See ya, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!